It’s the most beautiful time of the year. Whether you celebrate Yule, Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, or something else during the winter, decorations are coming out and festivities abound. If you're a kinky person, you may also start to dream about some fun stuff you can do involving holiday décor. Or, maybe the thought of another year coming towards you has you thinking about how you can spice up your kink life. Out with the same old toys and ideas and in with the new!

As a sexologist and consultant, I often get asked for more information on creative ways to add BDSM practices into a vanilla bedroom. Using some of the following fun holiday tips is a great way to dip your toe into the kink pool. You can even make a gift of it. Instead of another thing to wrap tell your partner you want to add some spice to something more than your pumpkin pies (wink wink).

Sensation Play

Sensation play means using the body’s natural sensory input to heighten feeling and sexual expression. Examples include heat, cold, tickling and pinching, just to name a few. During the holidays, consider using what you're already eating (on the outside of the body or in the mouth only) to amp up sensation during sex.

For example, using peppermint or cinnamon during a massage or oral sex can be wonderfully exciting. Peppermint adds a cooling sensation to whatever it touches, and cinnamon heats things up. Both can increase circulation, which may relieve muscle tension. Mint and cinnamon scents are used in aromatherapy and can have relaxing and refreshing applications for your mental health during the stressful holiday rush. Add some to your favorite holiday cider or cocoa and then run your tongue all over the most delicious parts of your partner. Add either to an oil, such as coconut or olive, and relax your body in a sensual massage. Remember that neither should be used on or in a vulva/vagina. Continue to check in with your partner throughout any experience.

Another timeless kink tool for your sexy kit is candle play.

"Different waxes have different melting points, which lets you vary the sensory experience from relaxing warmth to outright painfully hot," says sex therapist Stefani Goerlich, LMSW. "You can also vary how you deliver the wax - use a warmer to melt a larger quantity and pour it over your partner’s back or belly. Alternately, light a taper candle and drip the wax pointillist style. Any time you’re engaging in heat/fire play, there is a risk, so be sure to do your research if you’re not already familiar with wax play.”

Impact Play

Who doesn’t enjoy the gift of a good spanking? Whether you prefer to give or receive impact play can be a fun part of role play and can take many forms with a variety of accouterments. You can work up to a traditional spanking or whipping, but putting together a series of holiday rules that your lover is unlikely to follow can be great fun. Rules such as “no eating the pie before dinner” or “no shaking the gifts under the tree” can lead to a swift and sexy punishment. You can spank with your hand and cover it in icing for extra fun or use one of these holiday decorations for extra sensation: packages, plastic ornaments, and cooking utensils (such as wooden spoons and spatulas). As always, use safewords, get consent, and check in throughout the process.

Bondage

Tying someone up or being tied up is a very common fantasy. The surrender of not being able to move as freely and allowing yourself to give or receive this kind of control can be absolutely divine. Bondage requires awareness of circulation safety and, of course, ongoing affirmative consent and communication. Never tie anything tightly near an artery and never cut off circulation. If the person who is tied up feels numbness or tingling or sees discoloration, stop immediately. You can also think about bondage that includes elements like:

  • Tinsel
  • Holiday string lights
  • Ribbon
  • Bows

“As far as bondage goes, I’d say that if you have a particularly ticklish submissive/bottom tinsel is your secret weapon! The fuzzy-garland style tinsel is strong enough to hold up against a moderate degree of struggle (be sure you use a proper single- or double-column tie to avoid cutting off circulation!) while also being ridiculously tickle-y. It’s a great way to enhance the sensory experience for your bottom while also keeping both of your hands-free for other uses,” Goerlich says.

Last But Not Least ... Don’t Forget the Food!

Covering more than your cookies in frosting and making your lover’s body your favorite dinner plate can be a source of endless entertainment. No matter what you celebrate or how, adding some sexy fun to your seasonal celebration can bring a new and unforgettable reason for the season.